Gilbert Edition - March 2020

GILBERT EDITION

VOLUME 2, ISSUE 7  MARCH 25APRIL 28, 2020

ONLINE AT

Charter schools ll niche, thrive inGilbertmarket Town’s growth attractive to operators In the 25 years since charter schools began operating in Arizona, Gilbert has proven to be a popular landing spot despite three highly rated public school districts serving residents. “The perception is that the [district] schools in Gilbert are wonderful, and they really are,” Leading Edge Academy founder Delmer Geesey said. “So not everybody comes run- ning to the charters because of the terrible district schools. … It’s a dierent kind of niche that charters get.” However, charter ocials said the town’s growth of the past quarter century as well as its family-rst culture have proven inviting to charter schools. The end result is Gilbert has more charters within its boundaries than the state’s other municipalities except for Phoenix, Tucson and Mesa, all of which have much larger populations. That, ocials said, gives Gilbert residents convenient options to make choices for the best t for their families and spurs competition that makes everyone better. “For any school—charter, public, private—I just want to make sure the students are educated,” Gilbert Public Schools Superintendent Shane McCord said. “If you choose not to go here, that’s your choice. But I hope where you end up, Paratransit and RideChoice are transportation services for the disabled. Paratransit costs have led to a shortfall for Gilbert in that budget line, leading the town to consider scaling back that service. B Y T H E N U M B E R S Paratransit ratran it $4 $3 Paratransit cost RideChoice cost for rst 8 miles $50 $20 CONTINUED ON 12 BY TOM BLODGETT

Among Phoenix’s suburbs with a population of more 100,000 people, Gilbert stands out for attracting charter schools. It has the second most charters in that group behind Mesa and less population per charter school than all except Peoria. A CHARTER �agnet

CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE

Due to the fast-changing nature of coronavirus in the region, readers should visit communityimpact.com to nd the latest coverage on announcements, case numbers, school closures and more.

Number of charter schools

Population per charter MESA 12,414.12

2018 overall population 508,979

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CHANDLER 12,245.38 21 257,153 GILBERT 11,284.95 22 248,269 GLENDALE 14,747.35 17 250,705

PEORIA 10,767

16

172,272

IMPACTS

4

SCOTTSDALE 17,021

15

255,315

SURPRISE 12,558.55 11 138,144 TEMPE 13,739.57 14 192,354

SOURCES: ARIZONA STATE BOARD FOR CHARTER SCHOOL, U.S. CENSUS BUREAU AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY 1YEAR ESTIMATES 2018COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

TRANSPORTATION

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Town sta is taking a fresh look at options for transpor- tation services to the disabled community after council tabled a decision on scaling back its Paratransit oerings. Tabling the decision will allow sta time to reassess how to proceed and in what manner the service can be oered to residents. However, doing so will have a budgetary impact, at least for the coming scal year, which starts July 1, as the antici- pated shortfall would have to be covered through a general fund expenditure, Town Manager Patrick Banger said. Nonetheless, the decision to table changes was welcomed by the service’s proponents. “Paratransit has been a life-saver for us,” said resident Town revisiting transportation services for disabled residents BY TOM BLODGETT

LISA'S RUMCAKE

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Paratransit town subsidy

RideChoice town subsidy

BONGIORNOBAGELS

11

CONTINUED ON 14

SOURCE: TOWN OF GILBERTCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

communityimpact.com

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